Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor, speaks during a briefing on COVID-19 on the White House on November 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Win Mcnamee | Getty Images
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the U.S. is “actually” still in the course of a Covid-19 pandemic and he’s “very troubled” by the divisive state of American politics.
“As a public health official, I don’t desire to see anyone suffer and die from Covid,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I do not care when you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, everybody deserves to have the protection of fine public health and that is not happening.”
Fauci said between 300 and 400 individuals are still dying from Covid each day, and the uptake of the newest vaccine booster has been lower than 15%.
“I feel the concept that forget it, that is over — it is not,” he said.
The 81-year-old became a household name during the Covid-19 pandemic, battling back against misinformation — sometimes from the best levels of presidency. He challenged former President Donald Trump on all the things from using hydroxychloroquine to mask mandates, and his steadfast commitment to science made him a quasi-celebrity.
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Sunday he knows it has been a protracted two years for Americans, but that it remains to be “incredibly necessary” to get vaccinated ahead of the vacation season.
“We understand that individuals need to move on,” Jha told ABC News’ “This Week,” “The excellent news is, they’ll move on in the event that they keep their immunity up so far.”
Fauci announced plans in August to step down from his roles running the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and advising the White House as its chief medical advisor at the tip of the yr. He gave his expected final Covid briefing Tuesday, where he encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“I hope to be remembered for what I’ve tried to do, just bring science and medicine and public health principles to very serious crises we have had,” Fauci said Sunday. “As I’ve said before, I’ve given it all the things I even have to do this.”
Fauci has advised seven U.S. presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan through the HIV/AIDS epidemic, West Nile virus, the 2001 anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola, Zika and, most recently, Covid and monkeypox.